I am divorced and remarried to the same person. How will that affect our Social Security benefits?

I remarried the same husband in Pennsylvania. We got married for the first time in 2001. We got divorced but remarried in 2006. How do I rate this for the Social Security Questionnaire?

By “questionnaire” I assume you mean applying for Social Security benefits, and given the information you have provided, it should be very simple.

With regard to your two marriages to the same person, your previous marriage probably won’t affect your Social Security benefits at this point. The only way it could be a factor is if the time between your divorce and remarriage was less than 12 months. In that case, your two marriage lengths are added together (not counting the time between divorce and remarriage). If more than 12 months have passed between the divorce decision and the remarriage in 2006, then only the 2006 marriage applies to your situation at this point.

You didn’t say that, so I assume you are still married after the 2006 remarriage. If so, all you need to do is state that you are currently married and identify your spouse by name and social security number.

However, if you are separated from this person for the second time, then the duration of the marriage concluded in 2006 is relevant for the divorce (plus the previous marriage as explained above if applicable). If the total duration of the marriage was at least 10 years and you are currently unmarried, you may be eligible for spousal maintenance based on this ex-spouse. The ‘currently unmarried’ factor only applies to the divorced person. Of course, if the couple is still married, partner benefits are available if they are otherwise eligible.

To take things a little further, if the spouse you married in 2001 and again in 2006 is now deceased, and if you were still married to this person at the time of his or her death, you would probably qualify for survivor benefits based on the deceased person’s record. Again, the prior (2001) marriage would not be a factor in this circumstance.

The same applies if you were married to this person for at least 10 years (as calculated above) and then divorced, and now the person has subsequently died.

The other limiting factor for the survivor benefit scenario is that you are not allowed to be a party to a current marriage that started before your 60th birthday. You could have remarried before your 60th birthday and you could have become unmarried after that date through divorce or death, but any ongoing, ongoing marriage that started before your 60th birthday will affect your ability to collect survivor benefits from this previous (deceased) spouse. to eliminate. To learn more about how this works, see my previous article on how Social Security’s weird remarriage rule can cost you a lot of money.

The bottom line is that the 2001 marriage only matters if it is necessary to add up 10 years of marriage (in the case of a later divorce of the same couple). Otherwise, this previous marriage will not play a role at all in your application.

Do you have a question about social security? Write us at [email protected] and we may use your letter in a future column.

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